Letters from arts community and audience

I would just like to say a HUGE thank you for the past 5 days. I absolutely loved it and the children got so much from it. I will pass on some of the children’s comments. I am so very proud of them.
Many ThanksMiss Nadine DrewGolden Curriculum Leader
 Accentuate is delighted and proud to be supporting Signdance Collective through our Sync and Collaborations projects. SDC have produced a remarkable piece of work for Accentuate, through Collaborations, called New Gold. New Gold has been groundbreaking in many ways, in process, partnership and product and we are very proud to have it under the Accentuate banner. The work has also been widely toured through the UK and Europe with an exceptional level of interest.

Isolte, David and the other members of SDC are talented, innovative and exciting artists, who bring their own unique perspective to their work. Accentuate is working hard to ensure there is a cultural shift in the way society views disability and our partnership with SDC, who also performed out our launch event, has provided a great example of leadership, talent and skill.

Emma SlawinskiJoint Programme Director

Dear Signdance Collective,
I would like to express my support to you because of four basic reasons:

A. As a viewer of your performances
Before knowing you, although I had watched many performances in my country, I was never quite sure what constitutes an artwork. Although I have read some definitions they all stayed in the level of words and never became an experience for me. Many of the definitions were accurate and many of the performances excellent but they could not provide me with an overall knowledge of what art is. That is until I had the chance to watch your performance at Gate Theater last spring. It was that night that I realized that art is bringing the viewer in an intellectual-emotional state that s/he ‘vibrates’ in the frequency of other human beings and they communicate in a level beyond words. A level of mutual understanding without words, or an understanding that includes all the words. A mystical unification of human experience.
I had the chance to see with my own eyes what an artist is. An artist is someone that gives everything he is –body/mind/soul- to find a way of transmitting all the burning questions about the world and people around him, evoking the viewer to share his/hers, starting a common journey to the deeper essence of being human in an effort to evolve from the animalistic self to the one that looks up to the stars.

B. As a participant in your work
Before working with you I thought innovative artwork was the experiments of some –maybe great but not communicative- people who were exploring things in art but not in a way that an everyday person could have access to them. A kind of exploration that only the ones who understood could enjoy it. Working with you showed me that innovation can be the act of transforming the everyday experience into art by illuminating the uniqueness and glory of a movement, of a look, of a touch, of presenting the magnificent music in everyday ‘ritual’ as for example waking up in the morning, of highlighting the rhythm of playing with the light and the darkness of the shadows. Bringing that experience back to my country made my life brighter.
I had the chance to experience a life changing realization. That each person, disable or not, speaking the same language or not, sharing the same culture or not, of the same sex or not is a valuable source of different insights into life so no one can be excluded because we need each other in order to compose our ‘whole’. It is important to add that this experience took place in an atmosphere of a true celebration of human diversity that only you could create.

Thank you so much! I wish you with all my heart to continue your work of making life an art and all the people around you artists...

All the best
Yours faithfully
Flora Savvalidou
Greek sign language interpreter and EUMASLI student (European Master in Sign Languge Interpreting). 

Signdance Collective are remarkable performers. Their shows convey  progressive art soul and style. One experiences sophisticated moods from a fascinating perspective. Pantomimic elements combined with strange sounds in a complex choreography reach the spectator's subconscious. Their expressive dance performance catches the spirit of time.

Lila Schwammerlin,
Graz Austria
  Kultuur WerkStaat

Dear  SDC 
Many greetings from Austria/Graz!
I love your shows very much and it´s great, to see the stories in them!
When I think about "Sign Dance Collective" I always remember the live -
acts in Austria, Graz at the "Kulturwerkstatt", our trip to High Wycombe
and all the people there. Remember: They had fun, they smiled - they
were happy and we love that!!!! That´s our money!
We hope, we´ll see you next year, o.k.?
Buy, you´s
Freddy Zancolo (Schrägschrauben!)
I know the Directors Isolte Avila and David  Bower in their professional and artistic capacity. Their and the company’s demonstrated excellent artistic quality that is clearly evident in their performances and numerous touring of their artistic work. Their talent and work goes beyond being accessible to new audiences and participants, it is their way of working that makes it exciting, wanting to be part of it, that comes from a deep knowledge and years of experience and artistic development. Monika Richards Poet

I have known and collaborated with Sign Dance Collective for nearly three years now. I first met them through working with David Bower as a performer and Isolte Avila as communicator in a radio drama I co-produced. Through this meeting, I got to know the company and their work and have become completely hooked on their unique brand of creativity and bold artistic adventure

Isolte and David are a powerful team – their abilities in a range of forms, their ideas and their unquenchable commitment to artistic expression are admirable. One of the aspects of SDC’s work that I particularly like is the way all their pieces combine a spectrum of artistic forms, forging many interesting and unusual links with sound, dance and theatre artists. SDC offers a wide range of shows and workshop experience to audiences all over the UK. It acts as a key ambassador for British and also disability arts abroad,  an important role alongside their national presence. The leadership of the company by two disabled artists is essential, informing both the artistic output but also acting as an excellent role model and challenge to received notions of disability arts and the world around us.SDC’s work is always original; it is always high quality; it is always ambitious; and it is always driven by a fierce desire to communicate an engage with as many people as  possible. 
  Polly Thomas director